LBC Dunkin’ Donuts experiences delays in opening

Mackenzie Bookamer, News Editor

dunkin' donuts
The Dunkin’ Donuts has maintained the same exterior since summer. (Mark Keplinger)

Dunkin’ Donuts was slated to be the newest addition to the Lavin-Bernick Center food court fall 2021 — taking the space of the widely popular Panera Bread — but has experienced delays in opening. 

Panera Bread was in the LBC since fall 2016 before swiftly leaving over the summer of 2021. Panera Bread boasted one of the most diverse menus in the LBC, offering options for any time of the day. Other food options in the LBC offer more specific dishes, such as Al Fuego’s Latin cuisine and Star Ginger’s Asian street-food-focused selections. 

News of Panera Bread being taken out of the LBC elicited Tulane University student responses on social media — positive, negative and neutral in nature. 

After Tulane Dining posted news on July 21 to Instagram that Dunkin’ would take the spot of Panera, people flocked to the comment section to express their sentiments. 

User @rachelrosenheim said “Panera was the only edible food option … and they had coffee … ” User @tarynpeterson echoed this same frustration, commenting “ya i don’t need edible lunch and dinner don’t worry.” Students expressed their discontent in creative ways, with user @isabellemimeles commenting “@fittstagramtu please don’t do this 😢😢.”

While it may seem that there is an overwhelming amount of negativity surrounding the LBC Dunkin’ Donuts, there were still people who were excited by the news of Dunkin’ opening. User @audrey.pugh showed her support for the Dunkin’, commenting, “tears. in. my. eyes. don’t listen to the haters.”

On Aug. 16, student-run account @tulaneaffirmations shared a post highlighting the sorrow felt by the student body. 

Despite mixed opinions of Dunkin’ taking the place of Panera, there is now a collective frustration: when will Dunkin’ open? The Dunkin’ has had the construction paneling since students returned to campus in August and hasn’t progressed from that. Consequently, the opening date has been delayed. 

This delay in opening has sparked rumors among the student body that Dunkin’ had actually pulled out of their contract with the LBC. 

“I don’t think the Dunkin is opening because construction is taking a long time,” Tulane student Jada Roth said. “They have also stopped doing those free Dunkin giveaways in the morning.” 

Despite the speculation, University administration has confirmed that Dunkin’ Donuts is still expected to open this semester. 

“Dunkin Donuts is not pulling out of the contract with the LBC. We have experienced supply chain delays with equipment being delivered due to COVID and IDA. Tulane Dining Services is working with Dunkin corporate on scheduling the grand opening in the coming weeks,” John Lange, assistant vice president of Dining Services, said. 

Lange stated that there were no other contributing factors in the delay of the opening. 

“We are in the final phase of construction now and planning to open the first part of November barring any unforeseen circumstances,” Lange said.

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